As the year has unfolded I've gone down memory lane numerous times, as well as recount fishing stories right after they've happened. I've shared fishing tips, stories about my closest fishing friends, and I've written about family. I've even given out a few good recipes.... And quite honestly, as I look over the statistics of viewers to my blog, I've been impressed.
|The cover photo of my blog is me in a kayak I don't even have anymore. (And here's a secret... I don't have a fish on my hook -- it's a snag. That's why I have a smirk on my face. But the professional photographer liked it, so here it is.)|
As of this writing, I have had several thousand viewings from people in 73 different countries on every continent -- except Antarctica. 73 countries!!! That amazes me. I guess people like to fish, and people like to read about fishing, too. But that's not the whole story, as my Top 10 Most Viewed Posts reveals....
Anyway, the top 11 countries (with the most people viewing) are, in order:
U.S.A (of course, no surprise here.)
Canada (not a big surprise)
U.K. (They speak English,at least)
Denmark (I've got a few regular readers there)
Brunei (A late comer to the blog, but some people there must really like it, as they have been reading a lot!)
India and Spain are tied at the moment.
Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran have all had several readers, as has most of Europe (bonus points for you if you can find Moldova or Macedonia on a map), and many countries in North Africa -- in fact most of the Middle East and Israel. Asia and the Pacific Rim are well represented, as is South America and the Caribbean. Outside of Nigeria and South Africa, however, I'm still a little lacking in the rest of Africa.
I've been read by people in the world's 13 most populated countries (China, India, U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, etc. -- Ethiopia is the 14th largest, and I have not had any readers there, yet), as well as some of the least populated (Brunei, Qatar, Moldova, etc.) My blog seems to cross ethnic and religious barriers, I guess, because people around the world fish. It's just a matter of whether it is a hobby, a sport, an occupation, or a necessity.
According to Answers.com, there are around 193 countries on Earth, at the moment. So I'm a little more than 37% of the way to reaching the whole world. Ha ha. Maybe I'll get there in a couple more years.
Now, about my posts....
Some of the 10 most viewed posts have surprised me. Others haven't. They are, in reverse order:
"Shark Week, and How Much You Really Love Someone". One of my earlier, but funnier stories. I still laugh at this story, and it's been almost 10 years old now.
"It's the End of the World, So I Went Fishing", about my fruitless, but fun day in Smithfield when a wacky evangelist had predicted the Rapture would occur.
"Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to (Kayak)Fish and You 'Feed' Him for a Lifetime." About some of my early kayak fishing days, and some of the people I have taken and showed the basics.
"1 in 110?* Nope. Not Clayton. He's One in a Million." About the special joys of having a special needs boy -- who happens to love to fish, too. This one is still one of MY favorites....
"Sheldon Joy, my Fishergirl...." About my beautiful daughter -- who can probably outfish most boys.
The Top Five most viewed posts were all written in the dead of winter -- January and February. Maybe I write more interesting stuff when there's nothing better to do.
"The Origin of Cap'n Tipsy, and How I Came to Appreciate Proper Body Temperature." Recounting how I almost died one stupid day, in an educational and humorous way.
"Turning Thoughts to Spring Fishing, During the Coldest Time of Year," tells of fishing the upper Nansemond during the early spring.
And then, ironically, the top three most viewed posts actually have nothing to do with fishing.
Number 3, "The Happiest Day of His Life", is about my Dad and his experience of being an American boy in Europe during World War II. When I wrote this as a tribute to him on his 80th birthday, it quickly became one of my favorites, as well as one of the top most viewed posts. It's the second longest post I've written, and took a while to put together. But it was truly a labor of love.
Number 2, "Doe a Deer, A Female Deer... A Hunting Tale", is about a weekend I spent back in college, hunting with one of my best friends and his family.
But the most viewed post of all, "Mettle of Valor", is the one I wrote about my father's father and his experience during the Great War, World War I. It is undoubtedly the longest post, and took a few weeks to research and write, and the thing of it is, I'm not even done yet. I've only gotten to mid-1915. I'll write "Part II" when I have more time. Maybe this coming winter....
I think the reason my top three ARE the top three, is that they involve family. They involve unique stories of unique times. And certainly, the stories about my father and grandfather involve a time in our history that literally involved the whole world. That has to be a draw to people around the globe on the web.
So where will this next year take me? Who knows. I've still got a few stories I haven't written about yet. And I'm still planning on fishing several times this year. In fact, now that it's September we have entered my four favorite months of the year to fish. The "Golden Months" for flounder, drum, blues, trout and stripers, especially. There is no better time of year to fish than now, here in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic.
So to any and all of my fishing buddies, I say "Beware". Anything that happens when we're fishing, you should know by now, is fair game for this blog. That's why it's so fun to read.
Why, I might even have a good story to tell after this weekend is over.... If I do, you can certainly read about it here shortly. Until then, however,